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Thiago Silva picked Messi ahead of Ibra

Thiago Silva has revealed he voted for Lionel Messi ahead of Paris Saint-Germain teammate Zlatan Ibrahimovic for this year's Ballon d'Or.

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As Brazil captain, Silva, 29, gets a vote along with the rest of the world's international team skippers and coaches to determine the best player of 2013.

Though he has witnessed Ibrahimovic's exploits in a PSG shirt first-hand since they both arrived in the summer of 2012 -- and for two years at AC Milan before that -- the centre-back still felt obliged to plump for Messi, who could be named the world's best player for an unprecedented fifth straight time.

"I put Messi first, Ibra second and Cristiano Ronaldo third as he didn't win anything last year. They're all great players, and I could have put any of them in first place," he told Globeesporte, adding that if the rules had allowed him to vote for his compatriots: "I would have chosen Neymar first and me second."

The 23-man shortlist for the award published last month will be reduced to just three men in early December.

The honour, into which a select group of media representatives also have input, will be presented in Zurich on Jan. 13.

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